Like most people I like to rant a bit about the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. However I wouldn’t go so far as to say the whole thing is jacked or irrelevant. Every year there’s usually a good number of artists nominated to choose from, even if there’s always at least one dubious choice (ahem, Chicago). But Cheap Trick, Deep Purple and N.W.A. were fine choices. Now artists who’s recording debut was 1991 are eligible. The number of questionable choices that could be nominated just increased exponentially, especially in the context of the dozens of overlooked 70s artists who are far more deserving before we start considering bands like Pearl Jam and Jane’s Addiction.
Well, the nominees were announced this morning and those two bands are indeed on the ballot. But there’s also some really important ones nominated, like MC5, Kraftwerk, The Zombies and Bad Brains. Yes were nominated last year and didn’t get voted in, and they’ll get my vote too. Their first couple albums features some really interesting psych prog, and even their less celebrated Going For The One (1977) is pretty awesome.
Vote for your top 5 here.
I feel like nothing needs to be said to justify the massive influence and importance of MC5, Kraftwerk and Bad Brains. They all were groundbreaking pioneers, mixing free jazz with high energy rock and proto-punk, creating the template of electro and synth pop and techno, and hardcore punk mixed with reggae.
I’m tempted to vote for ELO out of nostalgia, but The Zombies definitely deserve it more (though I’d pick The Pretty Things over them). I certainly wouldn’t begrudge anyone voting for Chaka Khan, Chic, Joe Tex, Steppenwolf, The Cars or Tupac Shakur, but these are my picks. The only major WTF on this year’s ballot is Journey. I’m not a fan of J. Geils Band either but eh. Compared to the artists below, they’re pretty weak sauce.
Captain Beefheart & the Magic Band, Judas Priest, The Pretty Things, Big Star, Buzzcocks, The Damned, XTC, The Jam, Television, Joy Division, Roxy Music, Brian Eno, Soft Machine & Robert Wyatt, T.Rex, Wire, Gang Of Four, Thin Lizzy, Nick Drake, Scorpions, King Crimson, UFO, New York Dolls, Motörhead, The Stranglers, X, Black Flag, Dead Kennedys, Minutemen, Public Image Ltd., The Specials, Madness, Devo, Iron Maiden! Can, Neu!, Pere Ubu, Hawkwind, Suicide, Chrome, Wishbone Ash, Flower Travellin’ Band, Family, The Groundhogs, Pink Fairies, The Saints, Stray, Amon Düül II, Magazine, This Heat, The Raincoats, The Feelies, The Slits, Radio Birdman, Killing Joke, Popol Vuh, Cluster, Harmonia, Guru Guru, Gong, Magma, Heldon, Van Der Graaf Generator, Khan, Captain Beyond, Caravan,T2, Comus, Ash Ra Tempel, Tangerine Dream, Uriah Heep, Atomic Rooster, November, Speed, Glue & Shinki , Yellow Magic Orchestra.